About 83 percent of adults in the U.S. drink coffee. It’s a great way to start your day, finish off a big meal, or provide a little pick-me-up in the afternoon. But did you know that a number of studies have found evidence that coffee can also help prevent disease? Here are five diseases that a cup of Joe can help prevent.
5 Diseases Your Morning Coffee is Preventing
The most pervasive neurodegenerative disease worldwide, Alzheimer’s is also the leading cause of dementia. Studies have shown that those who drink coffee actually have a 65% less chance of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dr. Barbara Shukitt-Hale is the USDA Lead Scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience in Boston. She closely studies factors that are responsible for behavioral and neurochemical changes caused by age.
In an interview with ElderBranch, Dr. Shukitt-Hale shed some more light on another positive aspect of coffee:
“Coffee is perhaps best known as a source of the stimulant caffeine. However, coffee also contains high levels of polyphenols and consuming phenol-rich foods can have direct effects on the brain and also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.”
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Closely following Alzheimer’s as the second-most-neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s is caused by the death of certain neurons in the brain. As these neurons die, the risk of losing control over motor functions increases.
Luckily, coffee has been shown to help prevent Parkinson’s. Several studies show that caffeine is responsible for lowering the risk of Parkinson’s and may even reduce that risk up to 60 percent.
Decaf, however, hasn’t shown involvement with lowering the risk of Parkinson’s, and one study shows that estrogen replacement therapies can actually void the benefits of caffeine against Parkinson’s.
In the case of liver cancer, studies show that coffee reduces the risk of liver cancer up to 40%, and one study mentioned that coffee has been shown to reduce the effects of chemical carcinogenesis in liver tissue, and also has an inverse relationship with liver cirrhosis. Several studies show that four or more cups of coffee can reduce the risk of cirrhosis up to 80 percent. Another study showed that for those who drink four to five cups of coffee a day, the risk for colorectal cancer is reduced.
4. Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed diabetes cases in adults. One meta-study looked at more than 450,000 individuals and found that each cup of coffee was linked to a 7 percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
People between the ages of 45 and 60 have a higher chance of becoming depressed, and approximately 4.1% of the U.S. is struggling with clinical depression. Women are more often diagnosed with depression in the U.S., although a recent study found that alternative symptoms could be the reason that more men haven’t been diagnosed.
A Harvard study published in 2011, however, looked at how coffee affects the chance of women being diagnosed as clinically depressed. The study found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day actually had a 20% lower risk of being depressed. A different study looked at a sample of 208,424 people and found that the same number of four or more cups of Joe was linked to a 53 percent decrease in suicide.
A toast to coffee!
Coffee and caffeine have shown to reduce the risk for many maladies–all while boosting energy, improving moods, and increasing longevity. You can read about more benefits of coffee and find links to more studies at AuthorityNutrition.com.